The idea promoted by the NYT’s Shane & Mazzetti that the Russian government seriously threatened to determine the 2016 election does not hold up when the larger social media context is examined more closely, reports Gareth Porter.
By Gareth Porter
Special to Consortium News
In their long recapitulation of the case that Russia subverted the 2016 election, Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti of The New York Times painted a picture of highly effective Russian government exploitation of social media for that purpose. Shane and Mazzetti asserted that “anti-Clinton, pro-Trump messages shared with millions of voters by Russia could have made the difference” in the election.
“What we now know with certainty: The Russians carried out a landmark intervention that will be examined for decades to come,” they write elsewhere in the 10,000-word article.
But an investigation of the data they cite to show that the Russian campaigns on Facebook and Twitter were highly effective reveals a gross betrayal of journalistic responsibility. Shane and Mazzetti have constructed a case that is fundamentally false and misleading with statistics that exaggerate the real effectiveness of social media efforts by orders of magnitude.
‘Reaching’ 129 Million Americans
The Internet Research Agency (IRA), is a privately-owned company run by entrepreneur Vevgeny V. Prigozhin, who has ties with President Vladimir Putin. Its employees poured out large numbers of social media postings apparently aimed at stoking racial and cultural tensions in the United States and trying to influence U.S. voters in regard to the presidential election, as Shane and Mazzetti suggest. They even adopted false U.S. personas online to get people to attend rallies and conduct other political activities. (An alternative explanation is that IRA is a purely commercial, and not political, operation.)
Whether those efforts even came close to swaying U.S. voters in the 2016 presidential election, as Shane and Mazzetti claimed, is another matter.
Shane and Mazzetti might argue that they are merely citing figures published by the social media giants Facebook and Twitter, but they systematically failed to report the detailed explanations behind the gross figures used in each case, which falsified their significance.
Their most dramatic assertions came in reporting the alleged results of the IRA’s efforts on Facebook. “Even by the vertiginous standards of social media,” they wrote, “the reach of their effort was impressive: 2,700 fake Facebook accounts, 80,000 posts, many of them elaborate images with catchy slogans, and an eventual audience of 126 million Americans on Facebook alone.”
Then, to dramatize that “eventual audience” figure, they observed, “That was not far short of the 137 million people who would vote in the 2016 presidential elections.”
But as impressive as these figures may appear at first glance, they don’t really indicate an effective attack on the U.S. election process at all. In fact, without deeper inquiry into their meaning, those figures were grossly misleading.
A Theoretical Possibility
What Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch actually said in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last October was quite different from what the Times reporters claimed. “Our best estimate is that approximately 126,000 million people may have been served one of these [IRA-generated] stories at some time during the two year period,” Stretch said.
Stretch was expressing a theoretical possibility rather than an established accomplishment. Facebook was saying that it estimated 126 million Facebook members might have gotten at least one story from the IRA –- not over the ten week election period but over 194 weeks during the two years 2015 through 2017. That, figure, in turn, was based on the estimate that 29 million people might have gotten at least one story in their Facebook feed over that same two-year period and on the assumption that they shared it with others at a particular rate.
The first problem with citing those figures as evidence of impact on the 2016 election is that Facebook did not claim that all or even most of those 80,000 IRA posts were election–related. It offered no data on what proportion of the feeds to those 29 million people was, in fact, election-related. But Stretch did testify that IRA content over that two–year period represented just four ten thousandths (.0004) of the total content of Facebook newsfeeds.
Thus each piece of IRA content in a Facebook feed was engulfed in 23,000 pieces of non-IRA content.
That is an extremely important finding, because, as Facebook’s Vice President for News Feed, Adam Moseri, acknowledged in 2016, Facebook subscribers actually read only about 10 percent of the stories Facebook puts in their News Feed every day. The means that very few of the IRA stories that actually make it into a subscriber’s news feed on any given day are actually read.
Facebook did conduct research on what it calls “civic engagement” during the election period, and the researchers concluded that the “reach” of the content shared by what they called “fake amplifiers” was “marginal compared to the volume of civic content shared during the U.S. elections.” That reach, they said, was “statistically very small” in relation to “overall engagement on political issues.”
Shane and Mazzaetti thus failed to report any of the several significant caveats and disclaimers from Facebook itself that make their claim that Russian election propaganda “reached” 126 million Americans extremely misleading.
Tiny IRA Twitter Footprint
Shane and Mazzetti’s treatment of the role of Twitter in the alleged Russian involvement in the election focuses on 3,814 Twitter accounts said to be associated with the IRA, which supposedly “interacted with 1.4 million Americans.” Although that number looks impressive without any further explanation, more disaggregated data provide a different picture: more than 90 percent of the Tweets from the IRA had nothing to do with the election, and those that did were infinitesimally few in relation to the entire Twitter stream relating to the 2016 campaign.
Twitter’s own figures show that those 3,814 IRA-linked accounts posted 175,993 Tweets during the ten weeks of the election campaign, but that only 8.4 percent of the total number of IRA-generated Tweets were election-related.
Twitter estimated that those 15,000 IRA-related tweets represented less than .00008 (eight one hundred thousandths) of the estimated total of 189 million tweets that Twitter identified as election-related during the ten-week election campaign. Twitter has offered no estimate of how many Tweets, on average were in the daily twitter stream of those people notified by Twitter and what percentage of them were election-related Tweets from the IRA. Any such notification would certainly show, however, that the percentage was extremely small and that very few would have been read.
Research by Darren Linvill and Patrick Warren of Clemson University on 2.9 million Tweets from those same 3,814 IRA accounts over a two year period has revealed that nearly a third of its Tweets had normal commercial content or were not in English; another third were straight local newsfeeds from U.S. localities or mostly non-political “hashtag games”, and the final third were on “right” or “left” populist themes in U.S. society.
Furthermore, there were more IRA Tweets on political themes in 2017 than there had been during the election year. As a graph of those tweets over time shows, those “right” and “left” Tweets peaked not during the election but during the summer of 2017.
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The Mysterious 50,000 ‘Russia-Linked’ Accounts
Twitter also determined that another 50,258 automated Twitter accounts that tweeted about the election were associated with Russia and that they have generated a total to 2.1 million Tweets — about one percent of the total of number election-related tweets during the period.
But despite media coverage of those Tweets suggesting that they originated with the Russian government, the evidence doesn’t indicate that at all. Twitter’s Sean Edgett told the Senate Intelligence Committee last November that Twitter had used an “expansive approach to defining what qualifies as a Russian-linked account.” Twitter considered an account to be “Russian” if any of the following was found: it was created in Russia or if the user registered the account with a Russian phone carrier or a Russian email; the user’s display name contains Cyrillic characters; the user frequently Tweets in Russian, or the user has logged in from any Russian IP address.
Edgett admitted in a statement in January, however, that there were limitations on its ability to determine the origins of the users of these accounts. And a past log-in from a Russian IP address does not mean the Russian government controls an account. Automated accounts have been bought and sold for many years on a huge market, some of which is located in Russia. As Scott Shane reported in September 2017, a Russian website BuyAccs.com offers tens and even hundreds of thousands of Twitter accounts for bulk purchase.
Twitter also observed that “a high concentration of automated engagement and content originated from data centers and users accessing Twitter via Virtual Private Networks (“VPNs”) and proxy servers,” which served to mask the geographical origin of the tweet. And that practice was not limited to the 50,000 accounts in question. Twitter found that locations of nearly 12 percent of the Tweets generated during the election period were masked because of the use of such networks and servers.
Twitter identified over half of the Tweets, coming from about half of the 50,000 accounts, as being automated, and the data reported on activity on those 50,000 accounts in question, indicates that both the Trump and Clinton campaigns were using the automated accounts in question. The roughly 23,000 automated accounts were the source of 1.34 million Tweets, which represented .63 percent of the total election-related Tweets. But the entire 50,000 accounts produced about 1 percent of total election-related tweets.
Hillary Clinton got .55 percent of her total retweets from the 50,000 automated accounts Twitter calls “Russia-linked” and .62 percent of her “likes” from them. Those percentages are close to the percentage of total election-related Tweets generated by those same automated accounts. That suggests that her campaign had roughly the same proportion of automated accounts among the 50,000 accounts as it did in the rest of the accounts during the campaign.
Trump, on the other hand, got 1.8 percent of this total “likes” and 4.25 percent of his total Retweets for the whole election period from those accounts, indicating his campaign was more invested in the automated accounts that were the source of two-thirds of the Tweets in those 50,000 “Russia-linked” accounts.
The idea promoted by Shane and Mazzetti that the Russian government seriously threatened to determine the winner of the election does not hold up when the larger social media context is examined more closely. Contrary to what the Times’ reporters and the corporate media in general would have us believe, the Russian private sector effort accounted for a minuscule proportion of the election-related output of social media. The threat to the U.S. political system in general and its electoral system in particular is not Russian influence; it’s in part a mainstream news media that has lost perspective on the truth.
Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist and historian writing on US national security policy. His latest book, Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, was published in February of 2014. Follow him on Twitter: @GarethPorter.
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Notice how a wide range of corporate media outlets/staff regularly show up on CNN and MSNBC. This is called “synergy”. You make me look good. I’ll make you look good. Yet CNN and MSNBC on-air people NEVER EVER appear anywhere else UNLESS one of them is hyping a book or at a Newseum “seminar”. Real journalists don’t do infomercials for their latest book on their network’s air. And no, being a “senior statesman” like Tom Brokaw is no excuse.
Mr. Porter … Thank you for your post. However, it doesn’t make reference to Ms. Jamieson’s New Yorker article of last month which seems to contradict your point. Why not make reference to it? Are you dismissing her conclusions and if so, why? Thank you.
Elections are much too important to be left up to the people. Domestic manipulation of the electoral process is not being seriously looked at. Voter suppression and gerrymandering are mentioned, but no one questions the vote counting protocols, the who, where, and how of it. Don’t want to get into conspiracy theories, even though conspiracy is the fundamental modus operandi of our governance, but it does seem that Russian interference is your basic straw man to divert attention away from examining domestic vote rigging, It is and has always been an inside job, but in these latter days, thanks to the black box, it is easier than ever. RR admonished the nation: Trust but Verify! There is no way for the American people to verify a national election. Just ask Jill Stein.
I think the entire case that Russia did something funny re: the election — colluded/conspired/connived with Trump to steal the election; used social media to “sow division” (the division didn’t need to be sowed; it was already there) — is so weak as to be nonexistent.
The influence campaign is to convince Americans that Russia influenced their vote”–Aaron Mate`
Thanks for article. Reading the NYT piece was like reading a fairy tale horror story. Assertion after assertion with no proof. It is no wonder the Russia threat is under the radar for normal Americans as the plot is so complex with no daily ramifications for their lives.
It seems that one of the critical unstated beliefs is that the ads had such compelling messages and methods that their persuasive power was impossible to resist. Later claims are that they were directed, and directed advertising is susposedly immediately effective. Having seen the ads, really?
Throwing away this voodoo power of the ads, seems we need to turn to more traditional propaganda techniques. And one of them them is repetition. I don’t really get the FB newsfeed mechanism as I have never been on FB. But given this 129 million number. Is that how many theortical people would have been exposed to ONE ad? And those ads again? FB claimed that the overwhelming number of ads did not mention either Clinton or Trump?
And then looking at the entire universe of ads, how many did the democrats and republicans post? If the answer looks to be “a lot”, then what made these ads stand out not mentioning either candidate turn voters to Trump?
But we do see election meddling in the 2018 midterms. We see it in Georgia’s governor race on the side of the gop. While the democrats and their media allies are looking for Boris and Natasha and their voodoo ads and twitter accounts, and the Russians breaking into state library databases, the gop may actually stop tens of thousands for black voters from the ballot. The democrats are chasing Russian spooks while unable to protect its most loyal base from voter suppression, fraud, and skullduggery.
Erelis – EXACTLY!
Sadly, the NYT no longer deserves the attention of real journalists like Gareth Porter. Time to let them go.
Here’s a question for you:
If Facebook says Russian Influence Reached 126 Million Users Through Facebook Alone
and Over Half of Internet Users Are Bots
then how many of these Facebook Users who were exposed to Russian political ads were really bots showing ads to other bots?
Hmm… sounds like one of those word problems from 5th grade algebra class…
The point is, I can make 60 million of these “Russian affected FB users” go away by asking a simple question.
Facebook Claims to Have 2 Billion Regular Users.
Of these 2 billion users, how many of the “Russian affected FB users” are actually Americans with the ability to vote?
You see where this is going… the real question is how many “Russian affected FB users” can we make go away simply by asking more questions?
This is why Robert Mercer’s Cambridge Analytica targeting becomes so important. Unless you can reach an American in Pennsylvania and convince him Mexican gangs are coming to rape his horses and steal his women to swing his vote for Trump, who’s to say these Russian bots aren’t advertising to other Russian bots?
And yes, Donald Trump may be an idiot, but Steve Bannon and Robert Mercer are exceptionally intelligent and they knew exactly who to target.
And you know what? If people like the Clintons and Obamas and Trumps and Bushes of the world *really* wanted to fix this election meddling psyops stuff, you know what they’d do? They’d fix the glitch in the matrix that allowed Robert Mercer and Steve Bannon to rig the 2016 US presidential election *before* the 2018 US congressional midterm elections took place.
But they didn’t fix it. Because they don’t want to fix the glitch. Because they all cheat.
And they’re Americans. The ones who rig our elections are Americans. And they won’t stop rigging them.
But what about Vlad the Impaler Putin-Evil?
“Andy Was Angry”: Inside The Tense Standoff Between McCabe And Rosenstein In Front Of Mueller
Was Mueller brought in to block McCabe from the Trump investigation?
Interesting how the narratives keep shifting. Now that the dominoes are starting to line up and fall, the Fake News is being forced to identify targets to throw under the bus for the Mueller wipe out.
Jean ~ Made this one for you. It’s all quotes from the sourced articles without any added editorial comments from me. Enjoy!
Bill Clinton Called when Trump was Deciding Whether or Not to Run for President
This “Russia made me do it” mania is a non-issue. There’s lot’s of elements involved in swaying people’s votes but in the end, the voter decides. That’s what propaganda is all about and people like Soros and Putin or anyone else who has skin in the game should be allowed to play.
It feels more and more that “Russian interference” in the long tradition of an outside-enemy is a diversion from wide spread internet control and manipulation much of which may be “obvious” but is rarely mentioned. The claws of the DNC establishment seem to have dug deep into the MSM echoed daily not only by via “updates” on Russia-gate, Mueller, Manafort, #metoo and #the resistence — constantly reported at “victories” …. in fact, Kavanaugh was proclaimed an pre-midterm crucial organizing victory by the Dems and the GOP … so much winning! So much opinion, so little reporting.
I am curious how many Cambridge Analytical wannabes are operating for both “sides” or just doing “research” …. It’s an airless media bubble that feels like some nightmare of 24/7 partisan product placement …
I remember 20 years ago (along with other left/liberals) rejecting a FOX news equivalent …. but we got one anyway … toeing the status quo DNC line, pretending Trump (and Putin )is the problem as end-stage capitalism and neoliberalism out of control severely limits “options” …. has the “nanny state” been drowned in the bathtub as Grover Norquist aspired for it to be? Much of the world seems to be anticipating an economic collapse and no-exit … more austerity and TINA. (There is no altnerative) or remedy as we see as Trump astonishes with his frequent departures from civility and humanity.
The revelation that the “cybersecurity” of our weapons systems has been compromised by a failure to perform basic maintenance and pass-word rotation seems “perfect” as analogous to our infrastructure woes, as Trump seeks to compete with China somehow in foreign infrastruture investment …. smoldering pile of rubble.
MK ultra……mind control
so in other words, unless you can absolutely prove that the great unwashed masses weren’t completely pushed to vote against Hillary it just didn’t happen. Also the not purely commercial not political, How about political for commercial. I’m not buying it, there are millions of people that only use social media for their news
Facebook is taking down accounts that are “misleading”. Yet it has not done anything about the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, and the rest. Apparently, misleading material is only misleading when it challenges the misleading material produced by the so called mainstream media.
I think we have had the 17 Intelligence agencys who have layed this topic to rest. This beating the dead horse here.
strngr-tgthr: Hey bot, what is the square root of 9?
I dunno if the bot is Russian or not, but it ain’t no human.
What does this proove? It has something to do with 17? Or you just want the answer witch is: 9 x 9 = 81 satisfied?
Just sayin, but the square and the square root of a number are two different things. Or didn’t they teach you that in your advanced placement classes? The square of nine may be 81, but it’s square root is… but why ruin the discovery process for you? Go look it up yourself. Hint: It’s less than 4.
Maybe you should have called a lifeline before trying to answer that question, Einstein.
You love your witches. Where do they park their brooms?
You don’t know grade 4 maths, you also don’t know basic english spelling.
Every time you try to defend yourself, you just prove everyone’s suspicion of your utter stupidity. Did you even make it to High School?
Clapper Confirms: “17 Intelligence Agencies” Russia Story Was False …
Video for 17 intelligence agencies lie
Jul 6, 2017
Clapper Confirms: “17 Intelligence Agencies” Russia Story Was False … Times that “17 intelligence …
Anonymous Leaks to the WashPost About the CIA’s Russia Beliefs Are No Substitute for Evidence
Yeah, this bot has tried hard for a long time. Just rendering a prepared script into closed-captioning software.
no bot spells that bad…
Hey bot, tell us what kind of bot you are.
You have zero credibility. If you confabulate to make your points, you’re not worth reading. You’ve been told many times that the NYT itself retracted its claim that 17 intelligence agencies asserted that the DNC servers were hacked. Over a year ago, they admitted it was only 4: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/29/pageoneplus/corrections-june-29-2017.html
and you know that perfectly well. Moreover none of those 4 agencies never examined the DNC servers. They all based their report on “information” provided by a DNC contractor. The servers have since been destroyed.
So there is zero, not 17, not even 4, government agencies that investigated the so-called DNC hack. ALL of the Russiagate claims are based on equally, or perhaps less, credible, “evidence.”
The only ones who believe that Russia hacked the 2016 election are those who want to believe it. There certainly is no evidence-based reason to believe that Russia had anything to do with the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
You repeatedly push misinformation you know to be wrong. Presumably you hope that the less well-informed will be persuaded. That says a lot about you and your agenda. It reflects poorly on those who share your agenda that *they* don’t correct you.
Whether strngr-tgthr is a bot or just someone who had drunk the Kool-Aid of MSM and just hasn’t kept up on things too closely, I would say that it’s the whole idea of the “17 intelligence agencies” that is a topic that has long since been debunked and “laid to rest.” As is well known, it was 3 agencies — NSA, CIA, FBI, (coordinated by DNI Clapper) and even then only by a few select hand picked analysts. And as everyone knows, hand picking your analysts is a great way to hand pick your conclusions. Iraq WMDs anyone?
strngr-tgthr is a bot. Read the description above. It interacts based on some algorithm, so it comes up gibberish.
Funny you mention 17 agencies and the WMDs…
ICA Assessment on RussiaGate
strngr-tgthr: Hey bot. When you read ^ this ^ article, what does it say about 17 agencies?
Thanks for the link. Great article, I plan to share on social media.
One of the tell-tale signs (of many) that should tip people off as to the fraudulent nature of this whole campaign is the fact that people (politicians/media) kept repeating that same old tired canard about it being based on “all 17 intel agencies” pretty much ad nauseum — and some even still do to this day, even though it’s easily debunked. If anybody even bothered to read the ICA itself, they would know as much. And basically, when you have a strong case there is no need to make things up… and keep repeating those things over and over again like a mantra. That’s quite obviously a sign of one who intends to deceive. It’s the old big lie thing… repeating something over and over until eventually people come to believe it.
More than anything, I’d like to see consortiumnews go from reactive to active mode on the topic of manipulation of the 2016 presidential election, by investigating and publishing the details on the massive voter disenfranchisement in the Democratic primary, mainly the coordinated and large scale purges of States voter rolls.
The above article does a great job in de-constructing and fully debunking yet another deliberate effort of the msm to solidify a propaganda fairytale that is based on systematic misrepresentation of facts, actors and motives related to the 2016 election and its outcome. The problem here is not journalistic quality the failure happens on the strategic level.By investing precious time, money and energy in a battle that was set up by the ruling elites as a decoy and distraction, meant to absorb our attention and keep our mind busy with the ultimately pointless effort of making sense out of utter and complete nonsense.
Avoid that trap! Go into offence! The other side is far from perfect in its operations, there are weak spots that must be attacked aggressively and on a most direct personnel level. There are loose ends all over the place! Think about the voter rolls once again, what was the exact bureaucratic process, who ordered these actions, was there paperwork? was there a signature needed? What exactly caused Donald Trump to say that he would not automatically and before the event accept a defeat in the general election, what kind of detail did he knew on the expected “rigging”, as he stated during the second or third debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton. Where are the Skripals? Is there a way to liberate Assange and bring him to a safe place? Can he be shielded from the police by a crowd of a thousand, or ten thousand people? The Syrian Ambassador to the UN mentioned that the White Helmets had kidnapped around two dozen children in their preparing of yet another false flag chemical attack. How can we get detail about these children and their fate. The general public in Europe and the US need to know the full truth on the White Helmets with every person named that is related to this most horrible and immoral instrument of Western propaganda and “intelligence ” efforts by the governments of NATO States. How can a network of citizen activists be formed to create transparency in the coming elections, Exit polling?
This is an attempt in constructive critique! I feel nothing but the highest respect, gratitude and an utter sense of joy that there are men and women that live and work for this outstanding journalistic masterpiece, dedicated to the truth and nothing but the truth.
That’s a big laundry list there…you are tracking true with your firm skepticism of the White Helmets!
Imagine that your ex’s new boyfriend is a cop, and you drive an easily recognizable old beater. One day he pulls you over for going 69 in a 65 mph zone. Now, the speed of traffic was 70, and you know for a fact that this particular fellow and his buddy like to go 120 on their bullet bikes every weekend.
That’s what’s going on. Everyone speeds, everyone spies, everyone is ‘interfering’ in everyone else’s business, the US and our buddy Israel much more so than most. The Russian investigation is completely lacking in context. Were the Russians more involved in our election than the Chinese? The Israelis? If the intelligence agencies know, they aren’t saying. They’re just screaming out ‘The Russians were speeding!’ like that equates to bombing pearl harbor or something.
Clear and relevant analogy. Just as DHS Undersecretary Christopher Krebs testified in Congress that the alleged Russian “hack attempts” upon state election systems that DHS earlier reported, were really “scanning” which is routine and non-intrusive! And everybody scans!
I’m going to bookmark your post.
As much as I agree that “everyone spies”, I think the notion that the Russian government attempted to throw the election to Trump is utter nonsense. Putin has stated very astutely that US foreign policy does not change no matter who is president. The truth of that statement is obvious to anyone paying attention. When Obama tried to get his military to cooperate with the Russians in Syria, his plan was immediately sabotaged by the MIC at Deir ez-Zor, and there was no disciplinary action. So much for being “Commander in Chief”. No president has controlled US foreign policy since Nov 22, 1963.
The shakey case?
The only one’s that manipulate social media are the ones that run social media
That’s actually untrue. One of the reasons the social media companies like FB, Twitter, Youtube and Amazon are some of the wealthiest companies on earth is because they sell access to their AI algorithms. while some simply use that technology to put up ads for things they have learned you may be interested in, the algorithms are constantly evolving and testing to see when and how to pitch things to you, what you’ll see on your twitter or FB feed and among other things, using GPS data from your phone to determine things like your mood. the algorithms have all by themselves learned that negativity and anger or potent tools to sell things and third party actors can pay FB or twitter to change the behaviors and beliefs of small but ultimately significant percentages of certain populations. You need to read up on this stuff…and all you have to do is google “social media and behavior modification” (but are you sure you want to google anything ever again?). Might be safer to read some of jaron lanier’s books…or read some of the statements from a lot of people who now feel rather badly about their roles in developing social media…Or… you could just continue to pretend you have free will.
“126,000 million people”? I can’t share an article that has an error like that. That raises serious doubts about the validity of all the other statistics in the article.
It’s an obvious misprint. But your response raises serious doubts about your intentions, which appear to involve an effort to dismiss Porter’s entire analysis.
The 126 million figure was cited by The New York Times, not Gareth Porter.
March 31, 2017 The Surveillance State Behind Russia-Gate
Although many details are still hazy because of secrecy – and further befogged by politics – it appears House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes was informed last week about invasive electronic surveillance of senior U.S. government officials and, in turn, passed that information onto President Trump.
Good info and interesting link.
Does Consortium News have a page of links to sites they often visit to do their research? That would be beneficial for all of us in order to further peruse data and come up with our own ideas because as long as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. continue to censor and ban ideas not inline with their agenda… we need more information to help us sift through the growing controlled, corporate narrative being sold as the gospel.
Global Project, I can’t answer your question for Consortiumnews but I can provide some insight into the underlying value of CN. There is a substantial number of researchers who show up commenting on CN many of us have been long derided as conspiracy theorists by The Powers That Be (TPTB) however one thing is undeniable, and that is that the driving force of our passion is usually a reaction to some Organized Social Wrong that we have long-time experience with. One learns, in time, who to trust and depend on, and most of us are here because Robert Parry was an extraordinary reporter who earned our trust.
I can see that your web site is devoted to large input which is usually a good indicator of positive direction. Of course the interesting thing about Science and peer review is in the quality and accuracy of who you choose to follow…
I don’t speak for Consortium News or anyone else. That said, here is a page with many of the links I read often:
The USA’s imperialist cabal, in today’s vernacular, NeoCon(s), far outweighs any alleged “media interference” by Putin or his familiars. The proles have, once again, been dragged thru the muck of irrelevant MSM subject matter. The purpose of which is to distract our attentions away from the real influence peddlers, foreign or domestic. Those in the power elite, who advocate what Cain mockingly philosophized about in a familiar biblical passage. His response to God; Am I my brothers keeper?
A “gross betrayal of journalistic responsibility” begins with a press that refuses to look back into recent history, to compare and contrast with those political dilemma’s that now dodge resolution, today. Just to examine, a small slice of history such as reviewing those political problems and whatever solutions were applied over the last century. Case(s) in point; the murder of Emiliano Zapata (exactly one hundred years ago… He and his followers never gained control of the central Mexican government, but they redistributed land and aided poor farmers within the territory under their control. Zapata, alas a member of Abel’s clan was murdered by his “brother” General Guajardo
The question to ask ourselves is this, how does a minuscule effort towards launching an information peddling campaign, manage to be as overwhelming, in terms of shape shifting a nations direction as does, “influence” gained by rifle fire, by the bullet? by militaristic interventions?
From the Banana Wars to Zapata, Corporate American (and British) special interests, at times, applying the tool of violence found in a strong US military and or whistling up the professional hit man? Examples are many, in the Haitian jungles circa 1915, during the Battle of Fort Dipitie, Spanish–American War, Santo Domingo Affair, Occupation of Cuba, Occupation of Nicaragua Occupation of the Dominican Republic, Sugar Intervention and the Banana Wars!
With the passing of the Treaty of Paris, Spain ceded control of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines to the United States. Since then, our troops have had interventions into Cuba, Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic; on wards to the present day, Iraq, Libya, Bill Clinton’s War in Yugoslavia and his decimation of the Mexican peasantry and the (historical) reversal of every effort accomplished by Zapata….this list is ever expanding and goes on, from South American countries into the Philippines and then post world war two Europe with many assassinations via the CIA inspired Gladio programs.
How can media interference carry the same weight as western Occident interventions, murders, political manipulations and assassinations? The forth estate chose to focus all their energies, narrowly attacking Putin’s Russia. Allegations based on a few words in social media print??! Beyond outrageous, beyond silliness and the only way I can express this obvious effort by the Western MSM to cover a centuries long litany of corporate sins, is to borrow from the Jesuits a apropos phrase, “Implacable Ignorance”
I doubted this stuff for awhile but not any longer. Maybe some of you look into some of the books and interviews by Jaron Lanier and get the clue about just how many people can be influenced by the AI algorithms employed by twitter and FB as exploited by folks like Cambridge Analytica- contrary to common belief, it doesn’t even take a lot of money. you guys must love you some Trumpkin, cuz all you do here is defend him.
January 09, 2017 The Soft Coup Collapses – CIA Bluffing, Russia Did Not Hack, Blackmail Revealed – What Next?
CIA was bluffing, produced no evidence – Russians did not “hack” the election. Is this the beginning of the end of the Deep State in the USA? Can Trump clean house & wage peace?
The paid ads Facebook has disclosed were hardly on the scale one would expect for an all out effort ($100,000). A more serious problem for strong claims is timing, since the buys were scattered through 2015, 2016 and 2017 and across states, and appear to have focused often on states that had no chance of ever tipping in favor of Clinton.
Subsequent revelations by Facebook underscore the importance of this issue, since more than half of its ads are admitted to have run after the election.
The Senate Intelligence Committee hearings produced truly microscopic numbers for putative Russian efforts directed at the key battleground states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan:
For Wisconsin, $1,979, with all but $54 dollars of this spent during the primary. Russian Facebook spending in the other two was even more minuscule: Pennsylvania absorbed $823 and Michigan $300.
Unless Facebook discloses some vast new trove, the conclusion has to be this was no full court press.
The paid ads on Facebook did not mention Trump or Clinton in the vast majority of cases. Only about 100 of the ads overtly mentioned support for Donald Trump or opposition to Hillary Clinton. Instead, of the roughly 3,500 ads, more than half — about 1,950 — made expressed references to race.
At least 25% of the ads centered on issues involving crime and policing, often with a racial connotation. Separate ads, launched simultaneously, would stoke suspicion about how police treat black people in one ad, while another encouraged support for pro-police groups.
Facebook busted for handing out data of millions of users to Hillary Clinton campaign
Obama Data Mined Facebook Before Cambridge Analytica
actually, the Clinton campaign declined to work directly with FB,while the Trump campaign did.
And yet they were caught
“Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign collected the Facebook data of millions of people, which could and should be considered campaign contributions.“
caught be who? whats the difference between Clinton’s campaign and trumps use of Cambridge Analytica’s FB data? can you explain that or just keep posting youtube links?
Facebook Allowed Obama Access To All User Data in the U.S. Carol Davidsen Admits
Republicans Do Not have access to any of this!
Israeli Government Has a Free Hand to Censor Facebook
– Are You …
Video for facebook israeli censorship
Aug 30, 2018 – Uploaded by Ben Swann
Ben Swann is an Alt-Media favorite who emerged from the fringes of American MSM on CBS46. He explains …
$225 buys 25,000 fake people. 60% of Trumpkin’s twitter followers aren’t actually real people. in 2016, his top six followers were all bots.
So Trump had more actual humans than Hillary?
Hillary couldn’t fill a grammar school girls bathroom with supporters.Meanwhile Sanders was more popular than Obama the super star.
Hillary Clinton is more unpopular than Donald Trump. Let that sink in
No Russians needed just Hillary.
No, Donald trump was the most unpopular “politician in the united states while Hillary was the second least popular; although she was actually a real politician at the time and not nearly a grifter candidate. in a sense it was a contest between Mutt and Jeff, depending on who one considered was the good cop or the bad cop. Still, Trumpkin got less votes than Clinton and half the people in this country didn’t vote, many because they were disenfranchised. to say otherwise is to rapidly lose your credibility,”Jean”
Hillary is more unpopular than Trump – or as Julian Assange put it – “cholera and gonorrhea”.
HillBillary Clinton and the Trump family grifters are symptoms, not causes. Remove these two aristocrat families, and America would still be a hellified mess.
We are a mess because Americans. Not because Hillary. Not because Trump. They are symbols. Lightning rods for anger.
Because we’ve become a shallow society of war mongers who worship money and celebrity morons and compete constantly and have little empathy for others.
Us and Them. Half the country thinks it’s ok to be publicly racist and hate foreigners and tell women to stay in the kitchen and reproduce. The other half doesn’t. That’s the difference between Rs and Ds.
2018 midterms will change nothing. A new president in 2020 will change nothing.
The rise of Trump has resulted in no significant change in foreign policy or domestic economics.
The next ones won’t either. They’re all neoconservatives and neoliberals. There are no alternatives, no big new bright ideas allowed by the Overton window.
There is No Plan B
How ’bout the solid case the Israelis meddled in the US election? How come America doesn’t talk about that?
Some people are.not sure you’l l like those people: https://nypost.com/2018/05/23/the-hypocrisy-of-american-election-investigations-into-israel/
I’m no Spring Chicken and I was raised to believe that the NYT was the be all & end all of journalistic eminence. In the last few years that has not only faltered, but collapsed.
It started with the LGBT steamroller, probably the most effective marketing campaign since corn flakes. I’m straight, but I come from a theater and arts background and have always had close members in my circle of friends who were gay. I gave my first speech promoting women’s right in my university days – on abortion and divorce without adultery. I have little sympathy, however for the shrill, mindless screaming of the extremists among the militants in both of those social movements.
The NYT, however has not only increasingly become part of that, but what seemed to me to be a disproportionate number of their staff were identifiable as among those militants. Increasingly, the Times seemed to be regurgitating slightly rewritten press releases from the State Dept., from the DNC during the last electoral candidate campaign and endless non-news about a particular bias in the Clinton style promoting women’s rights and LGBT rights as the prime, almost sole, subjects of the establishment Democrats’ policy.
Then, a few weeks ago I came across a long article about the all-gay John Paul Getty family heirs who were very major backers of Hillary. That rang a bell to the extent that I know that a number of the Hollywood super-rich LGBT backers have also been major donors to the DNC/Hillary cause.
The ultimate event was a NYT issue a couple of weeks ago when the Editorial Board and every militant on the staff or opinion-writer got into such a screaming tizzy about Ford and Kavanaugh (who I opposed on political and judicial issues) went so berserk that I felt it was going to cause a backlash and assure his nomination. It did.
Did the Clintons buy the NYT? Impossible. But I did look up who beside the Ochs-Sulzberger family ran the Times. There lay the answer in plain sight. NYT is publicly traded. The Ochs-Sulzbergers completely control the A stock as well as the management and editorial tone of the paper. However, there is a little-mentioned, non-voting B stock that is owned entirely by billionaire Barry Diller, ex-CEO of Fox-Universal Studios. Famously reputed to be a cross-dresser when I worked in Hollywood and a member of the group of CEOs and high executives who ran the business end of the cinema/TV world in the 1970/80 like his proteges, Michael Eisner, CEO of Disney, and Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks. All 3 being huge donors to Hillary.
The B stock may not vote, but it may also have a very important influence.
When the Chick-Fil A was accused of LGBT intolerance, because their COO said that he was opposed to gay marriage; I was eventually curious about who had started the violent, anti-Chick-Fil A attack. It took some digging, but it turned out to have begun with an accusation promoted by one of Diller’s many companies whose function was to provide PR for the LGBT cause and Diller’s LGBT dating company.
All of the above is to say that Hillary & Co. certainly had unlimited access to PR specialists, PR automated twittering systems, vast amounts of money, and people who knew how to put a bullhorn next to the public ear, the NYT included. As Secretary she was violently anti-Putin and prepared to go to war wit Russia via the no-fly zone. That was the CIA position, also.
Fantastic comment; thank you.
Good lord, did you really just write the above? I’m pretty sure that homophobic rednecks are not being beaten unconscious and left in the snow to die by radical LBGTs. Also, please provide proof that anyone in the democratic party in fact wanted to go to war directly with a nuclear armed Russia-the useful idiot Jill Stein saying so does not make it true. By war I do not mean proxie wars in someone else’s country (something both countries have been doing since the 1940s). To not make that distinction is to be a little bit hysterical…unless you want to say that there was already an actual shooting war between the US,China and Russia in the 1960’s through the 1990s. you know…who made the missile that shot down John Mccain, who made the weapons that killed all those cuban army guys in western Africa? Business as usual-it’s war for the little brown people but it’s not a war directly between those large nuclear armed countries because that sort of thing is bad for business. Currently, according to the sainted Daniel Ellsberg; the commonly recognized Victim on CN, Donald Trumpkin is the most likely person to start lobbing nukes around.
Collusion bombshell: DNC lawyers met with FBI on Russia allegations before surveillance warrant
Russian Collusion: It Was Hillary Clinton All Along
Russia Investigation: It’s beginning to look as if claims of monstrous collusion between Russian officials and U.S. political operatives were true. But it wasn’t Donald Trump who was guilty of Russian collusion. It was Hillary Clinton and U.S. intelligence officials who worked with Russians and others to entrap Trump.
Neither of your links work.
Google the title if these don’t work
Tom Bongino has been laying this out for quite a while in his podcasts.
The people who rule America think the public are breathtakingly stupid.
Unfortunately, with certain exceptions, they’re often right.
Americans are confident idiots.
LOL! Victims of the Dunning–Kruger Effect, no doubt. “But, but, I watch the news everyday and read the NYT and the WSJ!”
or maybe the Dunning-Kruger is strongest among those few posters at CN that aren’t Russian or republican trolls? Trumpkin and the Rs are consolidating their little Third Reich. Those few of you who aren’t Republican or Russian trolls will likely find yourselves in cages right along with the people who understand nature of the threat we face.
Will, I’m neither Russian nor troll, but occasionally I do succumb to the delusion that my opinion matters, and so blurt out flippant comments like the above.
But if the worst should happen, I’d be honored to share my razor-wire detention camp with any of the other CN contributors. One doesn’t have to look far back in history to see how the state deals with persons who are considered ideological threats.
It’s a bizarre situation, in which Americans are both the perpetrator and the victim!
No, that was Brett Kavanaugh
The best part was when people would say stuff like:
“Trump is one of our people. He’ll look out for us!”
As if a billionaire even knows any regular people, much less cares about us.
Another good one is:
“Trump is a great business man! He’ll fix all the tax loopholes and ways the rich people game the system.”
What a joke. Put a fox in the henhouse and then wonder why his mouth is full of feathers.
Trump isn’t making America great again. He’s the worst white rich man candidate they could find.
Just to show everyone that if a black man can be president, *anyone* can be president.
The Dunning-Kruger President
Sanders would have won…….Bernie Gets West Virginia Trump Voters To Cheer His Agenda
Bernie DESTROYS Trump Voters at Town Hall, They Don’t Even Realize It
Thank you, O Society.
“An ignorant mind is precisely not a spotless, empty vessel, but one that’s filled with the clutter of irrelevant or misleading life experiences, theories, facts, intuitions, strategies, algorithms, heuristics, metaphors, and hunches that regrettably have the look and feel of useful and accurate knowledge.” – David Dunning
As one who has had deep personal experience with this dreaded condition, I can tell you that it shields the ego from a truth, which if known, would be disastrous to swallow whole. It is best cured with incremental doses of reality, so that the patient has an adequate period of recovery time in which to look for reasons to go on living.
Only later in life did I learn to appreciate the Oracle’s pronouncement: that Socrates was the wisest man in Athens because he understood that what little he knew amounted to nothing.
Verily, being dull and uninformed is a virtue, as long as you are white and rich. Boring stupidity is trumped by piles of loot.
How can you be a confident idiot?? A useful idiot would be more apt description!
A confident idiot unwittingly becomes a useful idiot whenever these services are needed.
The confidence/ ignorance distribution looks like this:
I came across an interesting quote recently to the effect that most Americans would rather be thought of as dull and/or uninformed than being thought of as unpatriotic.
It’s self preservation. Being informed is depressing. Americans are afraid to face reality because they are too poor to afford a mental breakdown triggered by being informed and feeling powerless.
Thank you Mr. Porter. Actually analysis of claims and data are the only method we have for avoiding being victims of propaganda.
Everything is so crazy right now. the NYTimes can actually write an accurate article and sometimes they do. This is true of news organizations that are even further to the right of them and those which are left of them. We desperately need straightforward analysis of information and I really appreciate yours here today.
1. Finding “Russia-related” messages and claiming someone has “links to Putin” does not mean that the Russian State has any input.
2. Putin repeatedly stated for months that he would accept the USA’s choice, and that whichever government was in place made little difference to Russia. His experience over the years and POTUS in charge and of course since have shown him correct. Can anyone say that Russia has gained by the election of Trump, now that the 60th set of sanctions since 2011 has been imposed???
3. The arrogance and hubris of the USA is unbounded. If people bothered to observe international affairs other than US,Israel, and nations the US interferes with they would see that Russia has advanced hugely in recent years, Putin has good or fair relationships with many countries and cooperation, not conflict, is the goal.
If American arrogance in other countries is bad enough, there’s even arrogance within the US with regards to the adoption of elements that Israel and the NATO countries have adopted, such as the metric system and soccer, sometimes to their benefit. I don’t know about you, but I hate how so-called “conservatives” dismiss them as “socialist” or “un-American”, even when the most anti-socialist, if not capitalist, countries use them at ease. I think part of this double-standard (where neocons are fine with globalism as long as they’re the ones doing it) is how the same neocons balk at adopting European cultural elements while having no problem forcing American cultural values on Europe.
Russia, thankfully, uses metric and embraces soccer (months ago they hosted the 2018 World Cup).
> …to the adoption of elements that Israel and the NATO countries have adopted,
> such as the metric system…
Well, actually every country (unless I am much mistaken) did years ago — including the USA!
If you check, you will find that the legal definitions in the US of the traditional units of measurement are based on the corresponding SI metric units…
And, of course, the whole metric system was introduced long before there were any countries claiming to be “socialist”.
Yeah, but not to the point where e.g. road distances are written in (kilo)meters like in Australia, Russia, or Japan, never mind continental Europe and Canada.
There’s multiple different factors regarding how America hasn’t metricated (completely) like Australia did in the 1970s (some of which making sense), but the arrogance from its naysayers is one which I’m up in arms about. In some discussions regarding metrication in America, at least one person will bring up a dichotomy between countries that use metric and those that place man on the moon. If I’m not mistaken, such a statement implies that America is “too great” to go metric, harping the same notion of “American exceptionalism” as the neocons in office. Even if the whole moon mission were done in metric (the rocket was even designed in it, actually), it wouldn’t have made much of a difference.
Before anyone calls metric “un-American”, I’ll point out that Thomas Jefferson (who also divided our dollar into a hundred cents) actually requested a copy of the meter and kilogram to be shipped from France with the intent of converting the thirteen colonies to metric. However, the plan failed when the sailor got captured and killed by pirates.
Another issue is how some naysayers would reject it because it’s French. Well, parts of it were also developed in Britain too, and even then, we take hundreds, if not thousands, of other French inventions, such as the Braille system, hot-air balloons and even pasteurization, for granted today.
Which only goes on to show the ridiculousness of linking metrication to socialism. Just because any self-proclaimed “socialist” country uses metric does not make metric in of itself socialist. In other words, guilt by association.
No, what a joke is that the American people are ignorant of the fact that the US is the biggest meddler in the world, has overthrown democratically elected governments in more than 80 countries, and has not been hesitant to instigate assassinations. That is well documented, for anyone who cares to learn the tragic truth about the shadow government that runs the Machiavellian arm of the deep state. People like this factcheck person are useful idiots for the deep state. Do they care at all about the millions maimed and murdered by the malicious meddling invasions of the US? That’s purely statistics to them.
This farce has gone on now for 2 years, another ridiculous waste of money. The people are divided dangerously while not being able to see that it’s the economic system which serves people of wealth that is really the enemy. Instead, the misleaders use the tried and true tactics of creating foreign enemies and divide-and-conquer. The fools at the helm of the ship of state will have to follow the decrees of their shadow masters when things fall apart. I hope everyone has a plan when martial law is declared.
Excellent post! William Blum discloses the truth of US meddling and murder in sovereign nations in KILLING HOPE: Us Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, an essential history of our foreign policy from 1945 to 2003.
We can see from his previous reporting, Scott Shane had real journalism. He was asking real questions.
Before the groupthink kicked in…
The Facebook IRA content Stretch mentioned was four-thousandths OF ONE PERCENT (0.004%), or .00004 of content.
What a joke. The article states that the “the Russian private sector effort accounted for a minuscule proportion of the election-related output of social media.” The actors were Russian Government, not the private sector! See this review in NATURE which just appeared.
In addition to her academic position at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Jamieson is co-founder of FactCheck.org, a non-partisan website and project of the university’s Annenberg Public Policy Center. It describes itself as a “‘consumer advocate’ for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics”. Cyberwar is, appropriately, highly circumspect on what is known and not known about Russian interference in this election.
> Steven B Kurtz
> What a joke.
Too true — but not in the way you seem to mean.
> Jamieson is co-founder of FactCheck.org, a non-partisan website
> and project of the university’s Annenberg Public Policy Center.
As if that weren’t enough, the reviewer who praises her book happens to be a “senior non-resident fellow” of the Atlantic Council. ‘Nuff said…
Notice how easily the sexy #MeToo push and the Kavanaugh Hearings made the RussiaGate media coverage virtually disappear (and stay disappeared)? Could it be that the Russian businessmen suing Richard Steele and Fusion GPS for defamation of character are finally having their day in US Court System? All documents associated with the Russian Dossier (inc. the “golden showers”) are in the process of being turned in for a public hearing of those suits. One judge in Florida expressed that if any case should be heard before the public (according to the 6th Amendment), it’s this case. Our media is so complicit in keeping the US public in ignorance, it would be funny – if it weren’t so dangerous to the world.
Why aren’t we going after the Mercer family? They are the ones who rigged the election. They’re Americans.
Why arent we going after the Clintons?….THEY are the ones who rigged the election and even picked TRUMP.There Americans and bought the DNC outright ,corrupted the DNC and FBI and DOJ and cheated Sanders who would have won.
Why blame Trump when it was Hillary who picked him?……Hillary is the only human in history who could cheat and lose to her own pied piper baboon.Trump was never supposed to win,thats why Melania cried when he did.Trump hasnt even been a republican since 1999 and was a HUUuge Hillary supporter.
Donald Trump talked politics with Bill Clinton weeks before launching 2016 bid
Four Trump allies and one Clinton associate familiar with the exchange said that Clinton encouraged Trump’s efforts to play a larger role in the Republican Party and offered his own views of the political landscape.
Clinton’s personal office in New York confirmed that the call occurred in late May
Stormy Daniels Claims Hillary Clinton Called Donald Trump, They Talked About ‘Our Plan’
Trump was a big birther ,Hillary started that Birther rumor and others like Michelle Obama’s “whitey tape”…..and Obama gay sex.I know because I worked for Obama and Hillary people were the ones pushing it.
ALL roads lead to HILLARY……..
No Hillary = No Trump
Jean ~ Robert Mercer hates Hillary Clinton more than you do.
Trump was Hillary’s pied piper baboon.She picked him because she knew that she would even lose to Ted Cruz the creepiest Munster.
Trump was her 3rd way triangle and she rightfully got crushed by it.
Trump is more popular than Hillary Clinton.
Everyone hates Hillary ,especially progressives
Americans’ Distaste For Both Trump And Clinton Is Record-Breaking
Hillary is the only reason why we have Trump.
A number of folks, including myself, have mentioned this possibility from time to time, but, even if true, the man certainly seems to have stepped into the role with gusto. He enjoys his position as leader of the country, even if it is fraught with the danger of instant annihilation at the hands of the intelligence cabal. Moreover, the entire scenario has driven Hillary to madness. She just can’t accept that her most devious scheme ever concocted fell flat leaving her as nothing more than an object of derision. Well, in this case the truth will NOT set her free. It would send her to jail. No matter who serves as its emperor, this empire seems destined to self-destruct fairly soon.
Hillary isn’t going anywhere
She bought the dnc outright and owns the purse strings
“Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton will campaign with Florida Democratic hopeful Andrew Gillum, the party’s nominee for governor, his campaign announced Thursday.”
Clinton’s are a stain that can’t be washed off
Where is the #MeToo ?
I absolutely agree with your commend Jean, they really need to go after the Clintons especially Hillary as you stated! The entire Russiagate collusion, delusion lie & narrative was setup to achieve two objectives ?? Firstly, to hide & distract from HRC’s illlegal use of her personal server to conduct nefarious business dealings using her Secretary of State status for her own personal enrichment? Secondly, blaming Russia for Election interference was & is a shameful, disgraceful pile of BS to provide a lame excuse for the Democratic Party’s shocking, embarrassing & humiliating defeat to a Reality TV Star in Donald Trump, who isn’t even a true Republican!
Hadn’t heard Bill Clinton encouraged Trump to be a politician when he was deciding to run YIKES! Bill and his triangulation scheme ruined what good remained of the Democratic party.
My point is we don’t go after the Mercers or Clintons or Kochs or Adelsons or any of the families who rig our American elections.
To go after any of one of these crime families would expose the others to unwanted scrutiny. So instead of any of them going down, none of them do.
The club. They’re in it and the rest of us aren’t. George Carlin knew…
the Mercers like their Russian friends. that’s why they sent their young mercenary leader Eric Prince to the Seychelles to meet with them
So did the Clintons
The Clintons slushy fund got millions from the CEO of Uranium one to give Putin USA Uranium
Bill flew around the world with the CEO and pushed the deal
Bill got 500k for one speech at Putins bank touting the deal
Bill Clinton sought State’s permission to meet with Russian nuclear official during Obama uranium decision
“Bill Clinton instead got together with Vladimir Putin at the Russian leader’s private homestead.“
The DNC dossier was compiled from top Russian government officials
That’s Russian collusion
I don’t have any problem with working with Russia and would rather work with them than the despicable Saudies
hello jean…not going to argue this one in the sense that I think the Clinons are great people, but the Mercers are really really awful dangerous people in ways the clintons never will be. None the less, Uranium One is a bit lessor a clear cut threat to the little people of the United States than what the mercers have in store for us. Uranium simply isn’t all that hard to come by and we have all we need for the rest of history in an already refined state called plutonium.
Obviously Will has no reply to any argument that doesn’t fit the narrative Dems=Good, Reps=Bad. There is no Deep State, we are all a bunch of Russian trolls and Trump lovers. No need to think any further. Now back to Rachel Madcow.
This worthy analysis should be supplemented with the insight that the Internet Research Agency’s activities had nothing to do with influencing the election – they were simply a commercial scheme to generate ad revenue by building a diverse array of websites and drawing eyeballs to those sites with cheap Facebook ads and tweets. Moon of Alabama nailed the story:
The Mueller indictment hilariously points to 13 Facebook ads that technically were illegal because they were political ads during an election seasons – which are illegal for foreigners to buy. These ads likely cost a total of $500 or so, based on the average cost of ads the IRA purchased. The other ads were legal! That’s what the indictment was about – $500 of technically illegal ads! The notion that the IRA campaign was intended to influence outcome of the election is ridiculous – as Facebook’s own VP acknowledged. That’s why the Deep State and their MSM whores pivoted to the even more ridiculous “sowing chaos” theme.
This parallels Gareth’s reporting that the hacking of US electoral data bases attributed to the Russian state by DHS were simply efforts by criminal hackers to obtain saleable personal info. This revelation not only destroys the “Russia interfering” narrative, but also underlines the fact that methods which DHS and other Deep State operatives use to attribute hacks to Russian intelligence are totally bogus, and intended to incriminate Russia from the get go.
There is a link in the article to the Moon of Alabama piece on this.
Yes, this was a good article by Moon of Alabama, pointing out that in the very same piece claiming that there is a mountain of evidence re Russian interference, the piece tacitly admits that there is indeed no such mountain of evidence!
you say “four thousandths (.0004) ”
in fact .0004 = .4 thousandths = 4 ten thousandths
“approximately 126,000 million people”
That doesn’t seem quite right.
The article was accompanied by ridiculous graphics with Putin coming out of Trump’s head. But most significant I believe is the fact that within the article itself the writers take back the very certainty that they claim at the beginning. They claim they “know with certainty: The Russians carried out a landmark intervention, etc. Just in the paragraph above they stated “What Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel in charge of the investigation, may know or may yet discover is still uncertain.” Throughout the article they confuse accusations and even indictment as proof of guilt. They claim the WikiLeaks exposure was unfair – never pointing out that this information was true and damaging to Clinton because of her own actions.
Of the influence of Facebook memes toward the end of the article they say “The impact is impossible to gauge; the Internet Research Agency was a Kremlin fire hose of influence wielded amid a hurricane of a presidential election. They even quote George Painter of the Bush Justice Department “It’s impossible to know how much voter suppression iit caused, discouraging people from coming out,” Mr. Painter said. “It’s impossible to know how many votes it changed.”
But they take back even more right towards the end of the article: “Mr. Trump’s frustration with the Russian investigation is not surprising. He is right that no public evidence has emerged showing that his campaign conspired with Russia in the election interference or accepted Russian money.”
The idea that what WikiLeaks did was “unfair” is very pompous and could only be accepted by those who believe Hillary Clinton had a divine mandate to assume the presidency. WikiLeaks is a news outlet, and no matter where they got the story, they had the right to publish it, as it was clearly in the interest of the US voting public. This attitude shows that the elite’s response to the 2016 election has been to triple down on what made them look like neoliberal tools during the election. What a sad racket.
Nice take down, Gareth, but I gotta say that everybody has missed reality. Everybody, including you, is approaching this as if Trump beat Three Names by virtue of having more votes, votes that he got by virtue of the electorate being mislead by a bunch of sly and crafty Ruskies. If only the head war monger and corporate shill, Three Names, had the votes that those sly and crafty Ruskies illegitimately stole and gave to Trumplethinskin, we’d have had the bright light of a brand new day and Three Names would have been able to prance her way to the White House.
It wasn’t like that. Trump lost by 3M votes. Three Names lost because she lost the rural vote. Getting her a few more votes from the cities wouldn’t have helped her. I’m gonna go out on a limb here but I’m thinkin’ that rural Americans are probably among the least likely to use twitter which implies that this twitter storm most likely washed up on empty shores from the perspective of the vote-getting from the rural population.
I’ve also gotta say that Americans need to stop picking at their navel lint. We think that the whole world knows that it’s all about us. But the evil Vlad has been heard to say, American presidents come and go but the policies stay the same. Why bother to “meddle” in an election that won’t change American policy?
Okay, you all say “represented less than .00008” tweets. But no one is addressing the potency of those twits. The KGB are EXPERTS in this and with one potent tweet they could call thousands of people to the poles. They very likely know the rural voter mind better than we do with all of there spies going there all of the time. Think about that.
Since, you say, the Russians understand the American mind better than any Americans do, I submit they are better positioned to run this country. You (and Hillary) should get out of the way and allow them to do so. Nicht wahr?
Well how about who one the popular vote? Think about that!
Yeah, we thought about that and then we remembered the words spelled out in the constitution, so we didn’t mount a coup or pitch a fit. We took our medicine, went back and either tried again or did something different rather than pouting for years.
There is no such thing as the popular vote in this federation of States. Summing up the votes across State lines means nothing. Never has, except to demagogues and sore losers. What do you think “United STATES of America” means?
Maybe you could go back to 6 th grade and find out how USA elections are decided?
Hillary Clinton won the “ popular vote “ by 3% to a baboon and only because California is bigger than most countries.
Trump is more popular than Hillary Clinton.
HILLARY CLINTON WILL CAMPAIGN FOR DEMOCRATS IN 2018 DESPITE BEING EVEN LESS POPULAR THAN TRUMP
How proud are you?
Why would you think some Russian educated bureaucrat has a better grasp of the American electorate than the 10,000s of professional American politicians and their highly paid advisors?
Well if you want a really serious answer look at Siberia. There are tons of people out there that are just like living in Texas or Idaho. So they are e xperts at manipulating all those country bumkin people for votes and all you need is a good translator to have the same effect as in the United States. There are way more ignorant rural people in Russia so it should not be suprising.
This really is an effing joke of a sock puppet account. Thanks for your consistent confirmation of that.
This is down right funny. OK let us look at Siberia. Their total vote in Russian elections are insignificant. So you equate them with Texas and Idaho? What a hoot. It is not just Texas and Idaho when it comes to the US. It is the entire fly over country which the Republican Party figured out 50 years ago is where political power is to be found. The Russians have nothing to do with it. As Gareth Porter so correctly points out.
Hee-hee! The Russians are experts at rural American political thought because they have rural Siberians — oh that’s a good one. Now I KNOW you’re yanking our chain! Thanks for adding a levity break —-the news can be depressing, and I haven’t read The Onion in awhile..
You and the evil Vlad seem to use the same impeccable logic, Jeff. You must be in collusion, according to the Grand Unified Democratic Theory of Everything.
The limb you’re on is pretty flimsy. Here in Eastern Ohio In the Upper Ohio Valley – small towns and wide rural spaces – gone absolutely for Trump in ’16 – all young adults becoming politically engaged have (and are just as connected to) their pocket spies, as those in other parts of the country. Many of this demographic I watched as the ups and downs of that farcical circus was reflected in their opinions. Just had a contracting crew work on my house for a month, all “formerly Amish” or lifelong Amish, all or most have cell phones and are very conversant with the social media environment.
I’m not endorsing the idea of the Russian conspiracy, only saying your conception of some parts of rural America may be flawed. All the fleeting memes on social media reverberate in these little hills and hollows.
Maybe back East. Out here in what is generally called remote North Idaho, not so much. Yeah, folks have smart phones and whatnot but that doesn’t mean they spend the kind of time on them that you probably do. I have a “town” pop. 220 a mile north of my property but after that, you’re going to go for 30 miles to find somebody.
You know what really reverberates?
Democrats ignored the rust belt and insulted them for not wanting a neoliberals free traitor like Hillary.
They know who destroyed their jobs and community?
At least Trump talked to them,Hillary Clinton didn’t ever bother.
“For every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up two moderate Republicans in the suburbs in Philadelphia, and you can repeat that in Ohio and Illinois and Wisconsin.”
What kind of party is that?
And you wonder why we have Trump?
“It is kind of crazy the Trump campaign was in contact with Russia when the Hillary campaign wasn’t even in contact with Michigan. It’s a direct flight. It’s so close,”
False and misleading — from the NY Times? I’m shocked, shocked!
Sad that a disclaimer had to be made to this absurd scapegoating.
Like so much else that comes out about the Russia matter, it is the hypocrisy that underlies it. By what order of magnitude does our meddling exceed Russia’s even if they are guilty. And by what order of magnitude is it exceeded by the effort, very successful, of Israel to influence our elections..
Do these two journalists take their efforts, particularly the conclusions, seriously? It is bizarre if they do, but probably true.
There is something else. Are we suppose to assume that voters are influenced to any significant degree by Twitter? Maybe it’s true but that is probably an unfair indictment of those who voted.
Excellent comments, Herman.
“Do these two journalists take their efforts, particularly the conclusions, seriously? It is bizarre if they do, but probably true.”
They are not journalists. They are well paid propagandists, hired by the Ruling Power Structure. Living in their delusional World in New York, thinking of themselves as the center of the current World Civilization, they probably believe in their conclusions, and in all this nonsensical garbage which has been spewing out for quite a while now.
And scene in Washington is not much different. Most of the Politicians and others in Power live in a delusional World. The political situation in the World is getting unstable, and scary with every passing day. There are no wise or strong leaders in Western Europe either. They live in their own delusional World – the torch bearers of free, democratic, and civilized World.
One can lay most of the blame for this extremely dangerous current situation in the World on Clintons, and on Obama as well. They started all this Russia Gate charade.
Didn’t Bush II do his part as well? He certainly sang the same tune as everyone else when the opportunity arose. I see a lot of Clinton bashing from folks here, but the game is played by the whole aristocracy, it seems to me.
Very good article Gareth. The devil is in the details. The MSM often attempts to convince us of one nonsense story after another by repeating vague statements for which they offer no proof or evidence to support said statements. Thank you for bringing the facts to light.
Half of Donald Trump’s Twitter followers are bots. Many of these bots were made by Robert Mercer.
Social media are run by Americans. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram – all American companies. We do this to ourselves. The faking, the cheating, the lying, the buying of elections.
Americans project our own corruption onto Russia because it makes it easier to sleep at night.
“Americans project our own corruption onto Russia because it makes it easier to sleep at night.”
Well said. Yes, that is how it is.
Yes. That is how it is.
Do you ever wonder why we don’t investigate the Americans responsible for rigging the election?
As a typical loopy American voter who can’t keep any current events straight in his head or discern the difference between candidates from the only two loyal American political parties, of course I’m not going to formulate any opinions or cast any votes until receiving my marching orders from Comrade Putin in the Kremlin. It’s what I do when not cheering on mass murderers like Animal Assad, the Butcher of Baghdad, the Tyrant from Tripoli or the Ethnic Kleanser of Kosovo. Obviously, most of my fellow Americans responded in lockstep with me, unquestionably followed Vlad’s helpful instructions and purposely sabotaged the hopes and dreams of Hillary Clinton the Good, the Pure, and the only candidate on the ballot ostensibly representing true freedom and the best interests of America’s citizens and America’s great Democracy.
It just wasn’t her turn and it’s unAmerican to give cuts. We were all glad to do this because we just love filthy rich plutocrats who think it’s cool to grab all those cats attracted to money and good looks and then to shamelessly brag about it–when not conspicuously bad-mouthing minorities and gloating about all the evil and illegal things one can get away with if one has oodles of money, questionable taste and no scruples. I mean, who wouldn’t want to live like the rich and famous–“champagne dreams and cavier nights,” don’t you know? What is more American? I was just one of millions of fellow partriots whose minds were put at ease, made right and led to instinctively support Donald the Great, the Wise and the Cool precisely because of the incisive incontrovertible advice given to all of us free out of but an altruistic concern for our welfare by the saintly Brother Vladimir, whom spoilsport Hillary now seeks to slander and smear only because she lost and simply refuses to be a good sport about it.
And if that explanation doesn’t convince you, give me a minute and we can try again until you finally get with the program. It doesn’t have to stop at doublethink, you know, as the set of real numbers is infinitely large. All I can see ultimately limiting the process here is the human lifespan, old age and the silence of the grave.
Thanks for you help Realist. Life is so confusing in America. One just has to find some infallible authority figure, and hang on to his every word. I choose you as my ultimate Guru! Please send me regular tweets to guide my faltering footsteps….
Wow! what a description! It is like reading dialog of Dostoevsky’s characters in his novels – dissecting the mind of the American Voter.
Your comments, as always, are very informative and interesting to read.
Art imitates life, and life imitates art, in this case the theatre of the absurd. Don’t you think?
Yes. Yes . . . theatre of the Absurd . . . the right word – you always have it. I have been here for a month visiting the small famous University town in S.E. Michigan, where I came to school more than half a century ago. I inherited lot of relatives here in this area through my spouse, whose brains were some how broken into by Evil Putin and the Evil Russkies in 2016 election; they all voted for Trump.
On rare sunny days, my brother in law, who lives in this part of the State drives over to our son’s house here to have lunch. A captain in the Air Force during 1960’s, he retired from Air Force to work in a corporation for three decades. Having seen the World, he sure knows who Putin is. In the Exceptional country, we know what the retention span of the truly Exceptional American Voter is. Some still can’t tell who Putin is. They have vague idea that he is somebody big in Russia with power, they should be afraid of.
My wife’s youngest sister who lives in Chicago – which was your home town I think – in the 19th century row house near the University of Illinois, was here one week end. A Liberal, with art major she also has some vague ideas about Putin, and who he is. That is your American voter!
Sure . . . theatre of the Absurd. We need a Gogol or a Dostoevsky to describe it.
I am glad someone in the loony-bin that America has become says something questioning this.
But it really shouldn’t even be necessary to say.
The claim is absurd, truly, even on its face.
It only lives on because America’s establishment has created the environment of a giant hothouse for growing all things Russophobic.
God, America looks ridiculous anymore.
And no one, except perhaps Israel, meddles more in the political affairs of foreign countries than does America.
One of the oldest tactics is always to accuse your opponent first of doing anything he can nail you with , as the majority of the public believes the initial accuser.
John, the main stream media are only working to shield you from the harsh winds of truth and reality. Be thankful for their sparing you those problems. If you ever feel disturbed by what’s happening in the world, just tune in to CNN and relax from their gentle massage…..
Excellent reporting. Thank you!
BRAVO, Gareth. Can anyone help Gareth get on air to explain this to Rachel Maddow or Amy Goodman … or perhaps Don Lemon? … or maybe James Risen, or Jeremy Scahill … or Robert Reich? We need to keep chipping away; most Americans can handle the truth — but not if they don’t have it … and are afraid of learning it.
“We can forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when grown-ups are afraid of the light.” — Plato
I read Donna Brazile’s campaign memoir HACKS last Christmas as an angry Clintonista. I reread it today. So much of my thinking has changed since last Christmas since discovering Sy Hersh, Ray McGovern, David Talbot, Gary Webb and Robert Perry. Her book is genius or more likely I’m a little slow.
It’s not so much the light that scares us Ray – it’s the ugly realities that the light reveals. It’s so much easier just to muddle through life in a hazy twilight pretending everything is OK – and if it’s not, then George will probably take care of it….
Beautiful. But I don’t think any of the aforementioned “resporters” will listern or care, they are not thruth-seekers. Better we get this to the president’s allies and all those honest patrots interested in shutting down the Mueller witchhunt.
Ray, I would love to read your take on the accusation that Putin was involved in the Moscow apartment bombings. Have you published an article on that?
I seriously doubt either Russia Maddow (she deserves the name) or ‘the Lemon’ are totally unaware of these facts as well as many others that debunk the talking points they are so handsomely paid to deliver, as a lot of this stuff from twitter and Facebook was broadcast on C-Span as well as in other media.
Those two people are lost causes but I still have hope for Amy Goodman in spite of her reporting on Syria, Assad, and ‘Russia-gate’ that echos the unproven accusations on those issues as accepted ‘fact’. Just like the rest of mainstream media which is rapidly extinguishing all hope, and trust I’ve held for her for almost ten years.
Her reporting on Libya got my attention earlier for the same reasons but on other than safe social issues in the US her foreign affairs reporting is a shame for that program.
However with that said considering how many times I’ve seen both you and Gareth Porter on DN! (for which I thank you both) surely you each have a great chance at getting her attention for an interview or in the very least a response to these facts versus the propaganda job the New York Tool published.
I think it is very important because as we all know DN! has a HUGE audience, especially on campus radios across the Country.
It would be great to hear what, if anything, came from those efforts, if you so choose to ask Amy Goodman which I hope you both try to do and maybe get VIPS on there as well, the Russian hysteria needs to be ended before it triggers a nuclear war.
Yes, I highly doubt whether MSM stars like ‘Mad-cow’, ‘The Lemon’, or others are UNINTENTIONALLY ignorant of facts/explanations like those in GP’s above article, it’s more like the ~$9M/yr she reportedly gets will buy a lot of ‘selective perception’, shall we say? I don’t doubt their intelligence for a moment, just like I don’t doubt many (though not all) right-winger’s smarts. But just as most serial killers have a higher than average IQ, the correlation coefficient between IQ/intelligence and ethics/morality is not 1.0 — I would guess it’s <.3, weakly positively correlated. After all, there’s no physical law that says that Intelligent people can’t be ruthless, devious or otherwise amoral, and that their logical abilities can’t assist them in their activities.
DN? I thought they changed their name to DNAT, Democracy Now And Then. I’m afraid Ms. Goodman has an emotional investment in Hillary that cannot be changed by mere facts. In general, emotion plays far too strong a role now in so-called “liberal journalism.” Where has good old hard boiled devotion to facts and disinterested pursuit of objectivity gone? So much journalism now is mainly assertion rather than investigation.
Thanks Gareth, but people will hear, read, and believe what fits in with their agenda.
Maybe they could legislate to make “Meddling Denial” illegal ?
Confirmation bias is epidemic in America. It helps maintain a smooth conformity to our cultural illusions. It’s scary outside the comfort zone of groupthink.
Brett…is that you?